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Ray Graham won the ROC supermodified feature this week from 8th place, and has kicked off some serious concerns among many fans -and other teams. Graham’s newest version of Paul Colloca’s Xtreme Chassis has been very fast since it came out, and after a few weeks of working out the bugs, has now won two in a row. Many people are concerned that the new car pushes the letter of the rules, possibly too much. While the car looks radical with its different body style, and the fact that the engine appears almost all the way next to the driver, it remains to be seen if it will dominate the division.
In the final rundown, though, AMB scoring shows that he was only a tenth of a second faster than Lavery, Ritskes, and Sitterly, and same the previous week when he won.
Opposing car owner John Nicotra saw it coming, and over the winter ordered a new Hawk Chassis with some new ideas, to take advantage of some of the minor rules changes that were implemented over the off-season. Nicotra’s main driver, Otto Sitterly, debuted that new car this week, and turned in a 6th place finish. I would bet that we’ll see more speed from this car in the coming weeks.
So the concern is this: will these two new cars crank up the price of poker in the supermodified division? Every new supermodified costs more than the last, so how long before they approach the six figure range? Looks to me like it may be another step up in the evolution of supermodifieds. Just like when Shampine made them offset. And Freddy Graves made the fiberglass front spring car. And Clyde Booth dominated with Mike Ordway Sr. a few years ago. And Greg Furlong and Tim Snyder were the boss with the Hawk Chassis cars. And the new Xtreme a few years ago when Didero won the Classic.
Important fact: it’s NOT like this year’s cars are a half second faster. Other guys will get faster. And I bet there’s already a new car on the drawing board somewhere with even better ideas.
It’s the natural order of things. But right now is a critical time for the future of Oswego Speedway. It’s imperative that track management employ the best and smartest tech help to go over these cars with a fine tooth comb, and enforce every rule for the better of the community, to ensure that this division doesn’t turn into a private cage match between two rich guys. The future of the division, and the continuation of 30 car fields, depends on it.
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As a driver/owner in the Limited Supermodified division, JJ Andrews covers mostly Oswego Speedway events, from a driver's point of view.